Saturday, March 16, 2013





James Franco

Michelle Williams 

Mila Kunis 

Oz the Great and Powerful - Is about a conning circus magician named, Oscar Diggs. When he travels away from the circus he got hurled away by a tornado and transported him to the land of OZ where the citizens believe that he is this great and powerful wizard, Oz takes the opportunity to take this title and win over the crowd just for him to gain riches. But the three witches of Oz Evanora, Theodora and Glinda are both skeptic and doubtful about him gaining such title, and now it is up to Oz to prove that he can be the great and powerful wizard as he sets out his quest to change himself and free the people from the reign of the wicked witch.

I was not looking forward to watching Oz the Great and the Powerful, my first impression of this movie is pretty much Disney replicating their success from the live action Alice in Wonderland movie that came out 3 years ago by Tim Burton and the trailers for this didn’t really win me over that much with me being a huge fan of the classic Wizard of Oz and the musical Wicked, The trailer barely gave me an idea of what the movie will be and I end up thinking that this will be another CGI-fest like Alice in Wonderland. Going back to Alice in Wonderland, I was not a very big fan of that movie because of its overly-depressing presentation of Wonderland and it is a CGI-fest than giving Heart and depth to the story, this on the other hand did the exact opposite; this movie is a Tin Man for it does have heart and depth to the characters and storytelling.  At first, I really had very low expectations about this movie. I was about to think that this movie would be like Spider-Man 3 for it to be really bad and kinda good at the same time. But I was surprised that I was wrong, it was actually very enjoyable and brought down all of my expectations of this movie ending up bad.

Going back to my statement of this movie having heart and depth to it, despite the fact that it was overly-long the characters made it all up. But there was one character that I thought was weak and I will go through that later. The characters were entertaining and they show is heart and depth to them, that being said I thought the CGI characters showed that there is so much depth and heart put into them. I like how they are not actually just grounded characters in a depressing world, they still have a large amount of wit to them and they came off entertaining like the China Doll Girl and Finley the Monkey as representations of the people Oz encountered in his reality, I thought I liked that aspect of the movie having representations of the people he knew be in the land of Oz, both of those characters actually stole the show as they were accompanied by great voice acting and very strong writing put to them. Those characters actually had that feeling that this is a Wizard of Oz movie, especially the way you encountered those characters. There was something about that China Doll Girl that gave me a tear-jerking missile with her back story also giving her this child-like personality at the same time was handled very well. and every time that monkey shows up on the screen he would always have something funny to say and do, just by the smile I find myself chuckling. I thought James Franco was good as Oz, I was very disappointed when I heard that Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp turned down the role and they end up choosing James Franco was an odd choice to me but he came off with a good performance anyways though I still think that RDJ or Johnny Depp could've done better. I liked how the writing built him up into this mature, wise and witty wizard that we know and loved in the 1939 classic. Now I thought the weak part of the movie was Mila Kunis as Theodora, I thought that someone could've done a lot better in the role or maybe it is the writing's fault for giving her little to do in the first half. As much as I like how there is much more story to the character, Her performance in the first half was over the top in a really bad way up to the point that she would end up having very awkward delivery (the scene of her crying took me off), I thought her over the top performance worked in the second half (when you watch the movie you’ll know why) though the writing did have her do very little along with co-star, Rachel Weisz as Evanora though Michelle Williams as Glinda was the best one among the three witches. The story was strong in this movie, sure there were some pacing issues I must admit but the story still came up strong on its own and I'm glad that they actually have some Oz elements put into it.

This being a huge CGI-fest and all, I thought that the movie takes the CGI to its advantage as they bring the land of Oz back to life differently from what we remember the Land of Oz was.  Though I have to admit there were shots where the CGI is overly-cartoony up to the point that it looked fake (having the human characters look awkward in green screen scenes) and there were shots where the CGI is rendered very well up to the point that it almost looked real and every color is vibrnt. Unfortunately I did not see this movie in 3D, I was very late on the 3D screening and I ended up watching this in 2D but I did heard that the 3D is Disney’s best,  judging by it there are tons of shot that looks great in 3D especially IMAX 3D. Knowing the fact that Warner Bros. still owns the rights to the 1939 classic and still gets away with some nods to the old one, Fans of the classic will likely be pleased by some of the references in this movie, I like how it paid homage on the aspect ratio and color changing when the movie changes worlds, I liked the amount of cleverness put to the fact on how they made the “man behind the curtain” thing , there aren’t any references that you’d expect like the red shoes or witches red striped socks. But the main problem with the movie is the pacing, the pacing, there were most scenes where it made me remember Alice in Wonderland which is being a forced presentation, I don’t really think there were some scenes needed to present unnecessary things on how scary the surroundings can be or how whimsical most places can be like, A good 15-minute cut could’ve been perfect. But when the movie end I thought the finale was worth the wait anyways. 

In the end, Oz the Great and the Powerful was an enjoyable movie. It is surprising that this movie had a lot of heart and depth put to it, all of my expectations of this movie being bad didn’t meet, I thought Sam Raimi and the cast did a very good job welcoming us back to a very different Land of Oz, sure some elements of the movie came off pretty weak but other elements of the movie did made it all up, the pacing was slow but The finale was worth the wait and definitely worth the price of admission along with some of the characters who can entertain you. It’s not the greatest or the shittiest movie that I was both expecting it to be but it came off as a very enjoyable movie that is very watchable with the whole family, both new and old fans of the classic will find themselves enjoying this from start to finish as they both welcome and return to the land of Oz, I highly recommend you see this in the big screen. 



4/5 - WIN!

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